Qantas (tel. 13 13 13 in Australia; www.qantas.com.au) runs frequent daily service to Canberra from all state capitals. Virgin Blue (tel. 13 67 89 in Australia; www.virginblue.com.au) offers daily flights to Canberra from Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Adelaide, Hobart, Townsville, and Sydney. Tiger Airways (tel. 03/9335 3033; www.tigerairways.com) also has daily flights from Melbourne and Brindabella Airlines (tel. 1300/668 824; www.brindabellaairlines.com.au) has weekday flights from the regional centers of Newcastle and Albury. The Canberra Airport is 10 minutes from the city center. It has car-rental desks, a currency exchange, a bar, a bistro, and a mailbox for cards and letters (but no post office). The newsdealer sells stamps. There are no lockers or showers.
The Airliner Bus (tel. 02/6299 3722; www.airliner.com.au) operates a 20-minute shuttle between the central business district and the airport Monday to Friday, leaving every half-hour on weekdays and hourly on weekends. The one-way fare is A$9 and a round-trip costs A$16.
Countrylink (tel. 13 22 32 in Australia; www.countrylink.info) runs two Canberra Xplorer trains daily between Sydney and Canberra. The 4 1/4-hour trip costs around A$80 in first class and A$57 in economy during peak season (school and public holidays), but seasonal discounts apply so check when booking; children pay half-price, and a round-trip costs double. Many people book Countrylink transport-hotel packages (call Countrylink Holidays, tel. 13 28 29), which can save you quite a bit. Countrylink has an office at Central Railway station in Sydney.
From Melbourne, the Canberra Link, run by V/Line (tel. 13 61 96 in Australia; www.vlinepassenger.com.au), involves a 3 1/2-hour train trip and a 4-hour bus trip. It costs A$49 for adults and A$25 for children and students.
Canberra Railway Station (tel. 02/6239 6707) is on Wentworth Avenue, Kingston, about 5km (3 miles) southeast of the city center. Coaches connect the railway station to the center.
Greyhound (tel. 1300/473 946 in Australia; www.greyhound.com.au) does nine runs a day from Sydney to Canberra; the trip takes around 4 hours. Tickets cost around A$32 for adults, A$25 for students with an ISAC (International Student Activity Card), and around half price for children 3 to 14, although you can often pick up fares for as low as A$25 online.
From Melbourne, tickets to Canberra cost A$60 for adults, A$50 for students, and are half price for children; check for specials online before you book.
Murrays Australia (tel. 13 22 51 in Australia; www.murrays.com.au) runs from Sydney to Canberra six times a day for A$39 for adults and A$32 for students and children. Book over the Internet for discounts of up to half price. Interstate buses arrive at Jolimont Tourist Centre, at the corner of Northbourne Avenue and Alinga Street, Canberra City.
The ACT is surrounded by New South Wales. Sydney is 280km (174 miles) northeast, and Melbourne is 651km (404 miles) southwest of Canberra. From Sydney, you can use an extension to the M5 motorway that links with the Eastern Distributor highway near Sydney Airport. Veer left before you reach the airport, follow signs heading toward Canberra, and veer left onto the M5. The drive takes between 3 and 3 1/2 hours. From Melbourne, take the Hume Highway to Yass and switch to the Barton Highway; the trip will take about 8 hours.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.